In rotation: 10/24/22

UK | National Album Day boosts vinyl sales by 30%: Vinyl LP sales in the UK soared by nearly one-third during this year’s National Album Day. A series of classic albums specially released for the event lifted the overall vinyl market. Jointly organised by the BPI and the Entertainment Retailers Association, this fifth edition of National Album Day took place on Saturday, October 15 with a theme of debut albums. It was presented in association with audio partner Bowers & Wilkins and broadcast partner BBC Sounds. Marking this year’s theme, some 30 classic debut albums were exclusively released or reissued on vinyl and CD, including titles by Black Sabbath, The Clash, Jake Bugg, Jamiroquai, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nas, The Police, Supergrass, The The and Wu-Tang Clan. These were available in participating UK indie stores, HMV and Fopp, Amazon and other outlets. Based on Official Charts Company data, vinyl LP sales last Saturday (October 15) increased by 30% compared to the previous Saturday, while CD sales rose by 20%.

Saratoga Springs, NY | Two musical businesses celebrate grand opening as Saratoga Sound Center: Two musical businesses – Sixth Generation Strings and Off-Track Records – recently celebrated their grand opening in the Spa City as Saratoga Sound Center. A ribbon cutting ceremony with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce marked the official opening of Saratoga Sound Center, which includes a record shop as well as a string instrument sales and repair shop. Co-located on the lower level of 480 Broadway, the former site of Saratoga Guitar, Sixth Generation Strings and Off-Track Records opened over the summer and now welcome musicians and music lovers to their shared site in downtown Saratoga Springs. For Sixth Generation Strings, previously known as Sixth Generation Violin, the new space is a relocation from its former unit above street level on Broadway, while Off-Track Records is a brand new business.

Tri-Cities, WA | Primal vinyl: The Washington record stores we used to love: I started buying music at a young age. My mom always had the radio on in the car, and at some point, I noticed that my favorite songs were for sale on small vinyl singles called “45s.” On radio – which I also love – you had to wait for your favorite songs to come up in rotation. It didn’t take a genius to realize that I could listen to any song I wanted, as many times in-a-row as I wanted, if those Queen and Hall & Oates singles came home with me. Thus, a lifelong love affair with records was born. The formats changed over the years, from vinyl to cassette, cassette to CD, and CD to .mp3. No more need for a record store. Below are the biggest names from a bygone era, when record stores were King.

Northwich, UK | Vinyl Cafe aims to be a hub for Northwich music enthusiasts: A new record shop where music enthusiasts can mingle over a coffee and a slice of cake is now open in Northwich. The Vinyl Cafe on Station Road, which held an official opening event last Saturday, is the latest venture for businesswoman and music industry entrepreneur Sue Buckler. As well as selling a wide range of new release, classic and specialist vinyl, customers can expect regular events including vinyl clubs, book clubs, record launches, live sessions, and artist Q&As. Sue said: “Anyone who knows me knows that I live and breathe music. “I’ve spent 50 years in the record industry doing sales, promotion, marketing, radio, and it all started with a teenage job in a record shop. “It was Graduates Records in Walsall, who are now famous for being the label who signed UB40. “So when the opportunity came to open a vinyl cafe, I took it.”

Missoula, MT | Record-cutting service set to make vinyl dreams reality for Missoula musicians: The polycarbonate plastic rectangle sat under a jury-rigged heat lamp on an ancient turntable. With careful fingers, a man in black pants and a button-up tropical shirt applied a layer of liquid butane to help soften the panel. “I’ll tell you, there’s nothing more fun than going around the shops trying to see who’s going to sell you bulk butane without looking at you funny,” he said. Delicately, he set the needle and started the turntable. With a keystroke from his computer, musician Aaron Jennings’ 1940s-era record lathe began carving a folk song right onto the plastic’s surface. Three short minutes later, his homemade vinyl record was born. Jennings immediately placed the record on one of his home players and set it spinning. The country strings of his friend Chris Sand’s song “Moon-Randolph Farm” jangled from the speakers. “Yeah, it’s a little wooly and heavy,” Jennings said, listening. “I need less bass.”

New Orleans, LA | WLAE-TV, Tipitina’s Record Club to Release Fats Domino Album: WLAE-TV and Tipitina’s Record Club will release a vinyl album called “Fats Domino: Live at Tipitina’s” in November. The music was recorded during a live May 2007 concert at Tipitina’s that was the centerpiece of the award-winning documentary “Fats Domino: Walkin’ Back to New Orleans.” The show was captured as New Orleans was still emerging from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed Domino’s home and all his music memorabilia. The documentary, narrated by actor John Goodman, aired on more than 300 PBS stations nationally. Its success prompted recent discussions about releasing an album, which will feature “Blueberry Hill,” “Hello Josephine,” “Ain’t That a Shame” and other Domino hits. It will be the 11th album produced and released by Tipitina’s Record Club since its inception in November 2020. Domino received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and was credited with playing an integral role in popularizing early rock music. He died in 2017 at the age of 89.

Richland, SC | Richland Library launches vinyl collection: Libraries already rock, so why not let them rock even more. Richland Library is doing just that, as it’s launched a vinyl collection for check out, it announced in an Oct. 19 press release. The 150-plus record collection includes a variety of genres, and the release highlighted that artists such as Adele and Taylor Swift will be available, as well as hometown favorite Toro Y Moi, available. To make it more accessible, the library is also offering turntables to check out through its Library of Things collection, which houses, well, things like this and gardening or home improvement tools. The release details that library cardholders can check out up to two albums at one time for up to a week, with the collection available at the Richland Library Main location. However, they can be returned at any of the 13 library locations. The collection also includes other artists like Kendrick Lamar, Sade, James Brown and David Bowie.

Taylor Swift’s new album could crown her queen of vinyl: A record Harry Styles recently set with Harry’s House is within Swift’s grasp. The world never has to wait too long for Taylor Swift, who is set to release her album Midnights on Friday, Oct. 21. It’s her fourth new record in three years, following the dreamy Lover in 2019 and her twin indie-infused records Folklore and Evermore in 2020. But in that time, she also re-released Fearless and Red as part of a longstanding dispute over her masters. We know little about the album itself, but Swift has described it as something of a concept album about “sleepless nights” throughout her life. Midnights will be both streamable and downloadable, but more importantly it’ll be available in a wide variety of physical formats. Swift’s Midnights is likely another blockbuster for Miss Americana herself, but it’s also a bellwether for a music industry where everything old is new again. It’s true: The year is 2022 and Taylor Swift is banking on potentially record-setting vinyl sales.

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